Written by admin on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

PML-N senator threatens consequences for those ‘grilling’ Hussain Nawaz
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

PML-N Senator Nehal Hashmi on Wednesday lashed out at “those investigating” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons in the Panama Papers case, warning that they will be taken to task for the grilling.

Hussain Nawaz, the elder son of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Tuesday had appeared before the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case. He was grilled by the JIT members for almost five hours at the National Judicial Academy.

Following Hussain’s meeting, PML-N leaders held a press conference, accusing two members of the JIT of harassing him during the probe.

In a video in which he appears to be addressing supporters, Hashmi warned: “Those who are scrutinising them [Sharif and his sons], we will not spare you.”

“Those grilling… [be warned that] we will arrange the day of judgment for you.”

“You are making the life of the prime minister difficult. The Pakistani nation will make it difficult for you to live,” he added, without taking any names.

Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb speaking on behalf of the ruling PML-N said the party does not support what Hashmi said, and that it was his “personal opinion”, Radio Pakistan reported.

She said the prime minister believes in accountability, adding that he has sought an explanation from Hashmi.

Hashmi offers clarification

Nihal Hashmi held a meeting with Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, where he offered his clarification about the incendiary speech.

“I was speaking to party workers at a Youm-i-Takbeer gathering on May 28,” Hashmi added.

“I expressed my own opinions at the gathering. If the prime minister asks about the speech, I will tell him.”

Defending the nature of his speech, Hashmi pointed out that he did not directly threaten anyone. “I did not take aim at any institution, nor did I mention any person’s name. My address to the workers was very normal.”

“My targets were our political opponents,” Hashmi added. “Our opponents have a habit of joining my statements to institutes.”

Earlier, the PM’s elder son had objected to the inclusion of two members — Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s Bilal Rasool and State Bank of Pakistan’s Amer Aziz — in the JIT, accusing them of being close to the PML-N’s political rivals. However, his objections were turned down by the Supreme Court.

“We are not going to remove any JIT member on mere conjecture unless something concrete comes up because the prime minister is the one being investigated,” Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who heads the three-judge implementation bench of the Supreme Court, said.

‘Elements trying to jeopardise probe’

Denouncing Hashmi’s statement, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said the PML-N senator’s “shameful threats to superior judiciary and JIT members” are representative of the party’s political culture.

“They either buy people or try to scare them,” Khan said in a tweet, accusing the ruling party of employing strong-arm tactics.

PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said, “Some government workers are trying to jeopardise the processes of accountability.”

Chaudhry said these elements are trying to “scandalise” the ongoing probe.

“We will ensure no such schemes against the Supreme Court or the JIT are successful,” the spokesperson added. “PTI will defend the quest for justice.”


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